It’s been almost fifteen years since I first came across Hope Edelman’s book Motherless Daughters. I was twenty years old and living in New York. My mother had been dead for two years and I was more lost than ever. I can’t remember how I came across this book, whether someone told me about it, or whether I stumbled across it in a bookstore, but all I know is that the moment I was holding it in my hands I was in disbelief.
Someone wrote a book about my experience, is all I could think. Just the mere thought that there might be other women in the world, other girls, lost and lonely and desperate in their grief over their mothers…it was utterly overwhelming. It was also this defining moment in which I realized, perhaps for the first time ever, that I might actually survive this. Staring down at Hope’s photo on the back cover, seeing another woman who had experienced what I had, and gone on to tell about it, I realized that I might actually emerge from my mother’s death and one day find a way to feel whole again.
To say this book has had a profound effect on my journey of grief following my mother’s death, is an understatement.
Hope was literally the first person who ever gave me hope in the wake of my loss. I finally met her in person for the first time last year, at a little coffee shop in Santa Monica. I’ve met so many authors in the last decade but this was most awestruck I’d ever felt in the presence of one. We sat outside with our coffee and I could barely bring myself to speak, so instead I listened to Hope tell me that she had just read my book, and how much she loved it, and then I really couldn’t speak.
So instead, I gave my best attempt to tell Hope in a wobbly voice, tears in my eyes, just how much her book had meant to me, how much light and promise it had given to my poor, broken 20 year old self all those years ago, and how grateful I was to her because of it.
I’m sure you can imagine how honored I am to tell you that I’ve been asked to be the guest speaker this year at the annual Motherless Daughters Luncheon hosted by Hope Edelman and Irene Rubaum-Keller.
If you’re a motherless daughter or you know one who is, please join us! Here is a link to the official invitation.